You just signed up for nutrition coaching and received your macronutrient prescription from your coach. And you’re now thinking “I got my macros! Now what?”
The next thing you need to do is download MyFitnessPal (MFP), one of the most popular web-based exercise and fitness applications available. MFP helps you keep track of your daily food and beverage intake, calculating all your calories, macronutrients, nutrients, and vitamins. MFP offers a free version and a premium version which costs $49 per year. Be sure to read our handy Getting Started with MyFitnessPal post to get more familiar with planning your first day of meals.
Now you are ready to go grocery shopping. We recommend keeping your meals simple the first few weeks until you become proficient at planning and hitting your macros. Your first grocery haul should consist of basic foods such as lean meats, eggs, rice, potatoes, vegetables, etc. After a few weeks, we encourage clients to broaden their meal choices and learn how to cook more elaborate meals. Be sure to download The Ultimate Macro-Friendly Grocery List and take it to the store with you.
Here are MacroLab’s “Top 10” best practices to getting off to a great start:
1. Pre-plan your day. Take 10 minutes every day to plan out the following day’s meals. Then execute your plan!
2. Although MyFitnessPal is a great tool, it is not always 100% accurate. Get familiar with nutrition labels and verify what you are eating against what you are logging.
3. Weigh everything – even your condiments (peanut butter, ketchup, etc.). You do not need to weigh food such as bread, eggs, or foods like yogurt that come in a single-serving container.
4. Make sure that you hit your water and fiber goals.
5. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
6. You don’t get credit for undereating. We have calculated the exact amount of food that your body needs.
7. Workout! But don’t overtrain as more is not better.
8. Don’t let the scale get you upset. Your weight will go up and down all the time. What is important is that we make progress long term.
9. Ask your coach for help when you need it.
10. Be fully committed to the program!